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A whole book could be written on the fascinating story of Pushkin's life cut short at 37 in an 1837 duel, as well as the undeniable impact Pushkin had on Russian literature, including on two Russian giants of Western literature, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, and, to a lesser degree, on Russian music, including that of Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky.
Pushkin was a poet, but wanting to "deal with the affairs of society, he had to learn to speak its language" thus, he had to "train himself to write in prose."
This is a splendid collection of all of Pushkin's stories in prose, including the novella "The Captain's Daughter." His prose has been labeled "swift and economical." To Pushkin, the style of the prose was secondary to the story itself. I love his stories and, in my opinion, this purchase is worth it for the masterful "History of Pugachev," Pushkin's history of the man who rebelled against Catherine the Great.
Pushkin is by all measure a must-read for fans of Russian literature. This book is a great collection of his stories in a high-quality collectible hardcover. I found the stories themselves to be a mixed bag--some were excellent and some were less interesting. My favorites were the Captain's Daughter and Dubrovski. Unfortunately, Dubrovski was one of the stories Pushkin didn't quite finish. Overall, the collection of stories covers a wide variety of topics even including Cleopatra. This definitely deserves to be considered a classic.